Valentine’s Day is on the horizon

Like it, love it or loathe it, you’d be a fool (in love?….no let’s not start with the cheesy song lyrics) to ignore it as you plan your marketing for February. Small businesses need to grab every opportunity to tap into popular and topical trends so here are a few tips.

Embrace the love

If you, and more importantly your client type, enjoy the grand gestures, the proposals, the lovey-dovey pink floating hearts jump right in.

Run competitions on social media – love stories or photos of heart shaped objects, whatever you can think of that might relate back to your business can be a prompt for commenting. Be sure to outline your rules, how the competition will be judged and what the prize is.

Use polls to encourage interaction. Chocolates or flowers? Dine in or meal out?

Don’t forget to utilise the day’s trending hashtags on your Twitter and Instagram posts but only if they are relevant. Don’t piggy-back hashtags just to get noticed – it only looks desperate!

Appeal to a broader customer base by including same sex relationships in your marketing. A couple’s spa day prize will appeal to lots of prospective clients so why only advertise it with a male/female photo? Choose diverse images showing real relatable people and situations.

Make sure you put aside time to respond quickly and effectively. Consider some extra support if you are running a big campaign. If you start from 1st February you could have two weeks of intense interaction culminating in that one day on 14th. Replying to comments too long after the event just looks lazy. Put the time in the diary and join in. You (or your support) must be reactive and engaging while it’s a hot topic!

Don’t forget your existing clients. Add a little token, maybe some heart sweets or a postcard to your orders during February. Send individual emails to your best clients telling them how much you appreciate them. Don’t ask them for anything, no links to click on, no promotional stuff, just a heartfelt (and sincere!) message from you to them.


Ditch the cliches

Yes I know it’s difficult, Valentine’s wouldn’t be the same without red velvet heart cushions and a dozen roses but you want to stand out from the masses, look for more original links and stories to highlight.

Find an alternative way to tap into the market especially if your product or branding doesn’t immediately fit with romantic symbolism. Can you use words such as ‘heart’ or ‘love’ in a different context? Play with the words around your product and find a message that does work without looking like you are trying too hard.

Appeal to those who are single, either through choice or heartache. Pledge your social media as a heart-free safe-haven for the day.


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